Gal Gadot. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
– Gal Gadot’s casting as ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra created a Twitter storm last week, but the announcement left a surprising population largely unmoved.
More than 70 percent of respondents to an Arab News Twitter poll said they had “no problem” with the idea of Gadot – an Israeli star, who was the third-highest paid actress in Hollywood in 2020 – playing the role.
Many of the Twitterati complained bitterly that it was an affront to select an Israeli actress to play the Egyptian queen, who famously had a torrid marriage with Roman general and politician Mark Antony.
However, the idea that Cleopatra was an Arab was quickly debunked, she was in fact of Greek descent – and a clear majority – 61 percent of respondents – said “Yes” to the question: “Do you think Israeli actress Gal Gadot is suitable for the rule of Cleopatra.”
A further 12 percent said to wait and see before deciding, while 27 percent firmly answered,”No.”
The news site’s editors seemed caught out by the results of the poll, headlining the article, “Shockingly, most Arab News readers in favor of Israeli actress Gal Gadot as Cleopatra,” according to The Jerusalem Post.
While some on Twitter debated ancient geopolitics, others turned to more present-day commentary, arguing that the casting and timing of the movie were announced in the wake of the Abraham Accords between Israel and the two Gulf neighbors United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.